Tuesday, October 14, 2014
One single common thread that links majority of modern day websites is their poor design that makes them redundant to the very audience they were designed for. Web browsers have become far more intelligent than what they previously were and so are the 2.8 billion people who have access to the internet at present. Hence, shabbily designed websites are no longer able to strike a chord with modern day internet users who have a keen eye for detail and value good web design aesthetics.
There are several drawbacks that poorly designed websites have to face when compared to their elegantly designed counterparts. Some of the major drawbacks that are worthy of being highlighted are lack of interest from viewers to use the site, difficulties in navigating from one point of the website to another, hassles in finding required information or content and unfriendly user experience. When all these drawbacks combine together, they snowball to epic proportions and result in massive losses to the website in the form of poor visitor footfall and lack of patronage from consumers. The only way for these websites to survive moving into the future is to adopt responsive web design as early as possible and work hard towards improving the site’s overall usability.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is arguably the best thing that has happened to the web design industry. The number of websites embracing this wonderful piece of technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds with each progressing day. The key highlight of this design framework is that it only requires you to maintain a single website which looks equally good across every single screen type that is in use today such as the smartphone or tablet. To put it in simpler terms, your website “responds” to the particular screen type from which it is viewed and then adapts to it accordingly with the help of clever pieces of code. Based on the screen type, your website will either be scaled up or scaled down to fit the screen dimensions perfectly and look pleasant to the viewer’s eyes.
With the world’s internet usage population set to explode in the coming years thanks to the phenomenal growth of the mobile computing platform which involves smartphone, tablet and wearable users. By taking advantage of responsive web design, your website can directly tap into this huge user base of millions of internet users and generate increased viewership or higher profits in case you are running an e-commerce website. Failing to ride this wave can make you pay a heavy price and ultimately lead to your website losing out to emerging and existing competition.
How Responsive Web Design makes your Website Better
With responsive web design incorporated into your website from day one, you can hit the road running when it comes to engaging with your target audience and gaining their undivided attention. This will help you gain an upper hand while competing with your rivals for a larger share of the “online visibility pie”. The list of benefits offered by responsive web design is endless. But it wouldn’t hurt to point out few of the significant ones so as to get a basic picture of its strengths and capabilities.
- Easy maintenance – Hassle free maintenance of your website is one of the key highlights of responsive web design as it eliminates the need to maintain separate versions of the same website in order to cater to mobile users or tablet users. All you require is one single version and you are ready to roll.
- Better SEO performance – By using responsive web design, your websites SEO performance is considerably improved. For example, you need to optimize the content of the links in your website only once. Since the URL structure is going to remain the same for all devices, your content will automatically get optimized for any kind of device.
- Higher sales and profit margins – If your website is a part of the online e-commerce industry, then presenting a responsive website to your target audience will encourage them to shop for your site through mobile devices as well. This will obviously lead to an increase in the overall sales and profit margins in the longer run.
- Improved User Experience – You can already consider half the battle won if your website is able to offer a seamless and friendly user experience to its visitors. The main reason why majority of the websites tend to lose their visibility online is because of the fact that they are unable to provid their viewers with a user experience that is praiseworthy. But with the aid of responsive web design, your website can easily offer its viewers a unified user experience which is void of any glitches. All your content and multimedia elements will get displayed in ideal proportions and never look out of place.
The Future of Responsive Web Design
For now, responsive web design is all set and looking good to rule the internet for at least the next decade or so. But what’s in store for the future? The answer to this question leads us in just one direction – Adaptive Web Design. In this design ideology, the focus entirely is on the user and the manner in which he consumes his data. In plain words, the website has to adapt intelligently to various types of interactions which may include hand gestures, touch gestures, voice controls and motion controls. The possibilities are boundless with regards to adaptive web design and we may even witness unique and radical screen form factors. A good example would be the Google Glass that allows users to browse websites and watch videos online through a tiny glass screen attached to one side of a spectacle frame.
Responsive web design is a great asset for websites and web designers. Realizing its importance early on can help your website sport a successful growth curve. By closely following the best practices described by this design approach, you can eradicate the common design pitfalls that most websites fall into. You can also cherish the chance to prove to the world that your website is not just good at grabbing eyeballs but also good enough to be a brand ambassador for promoting web design principles that create a profound and long lasting impact in the minds of viewers.